Long-Distance Friendships are Hard Too

Friends are heaven sent, chances are they know you better than you know yourself. I was fortunate enough to meet my two best friends in middle school, although then, we did not know we would become best friends. During high school, we became close, and when our last year approached, we knew we wanted to attend the same university. The universe had different plans however, I stayed closer to home at UC Riverside, another went to UC San Diego, and the other to Cal State LA. We were heart-broken, but also extremely excited for each other, it was almost like we were going to be in a long-distance relationship. 


As it turns out, keeping up with them and actually seeing my friends has been challenging, four years later we are still struggling to see each other as often as we would like. Most people would say that we are not trying hard enough to see each other, but there are obstacles that make this harder than we thought. Travel is time consuming and expensive,  and we all have activities, such as jobs or clubs that take much of our time up. 


Holidays Are Not the Same

(Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash)

Things can feel a little extra sad during the holidays, it kind of sucks having to see others go out with their friends to pumpkin patches or other holiday activities. I thankfully have my family who is for the most part willing to go out and do these things with me. I also have my friends from school who enjoy going out and do fun things, however, it is not the same as having your best friends; things just feel a little more fun around your ride-or-dies. Over the years we have come to accept that this is just how things have to be. It is not like we do not get to see each other at all during the holidays either, we all meet up as much as possible during our Thanksgiving and Winter breaks. Being apart during most of the months definitely helps us appreciate and enjoy the time we do have when we have it.


Summers Are Not as Bright

(Photo by Sean O. on Unsplash)

The season that all look forward to, summer, has become a little weird for my friends and I during these four years, but for good reasons. While one of my friends and I are able to go back home, my friend at San Diego has to spend 80% of her time there due to her job and extracurricular activities. Therefore, during the summer we do not get to go to the beach or fair as often as we would like because we want to to those things together. Since, our schedules are a bit more flexible during the summer, my friend at Cal State LA and I try to visit our friend in San Diego at least one or twice in the summer. Summer in San Diego is great, not only do we all come together, the beach is perfect and there is always new food and treats to try. Our friend definitely tries her best to make our visit and experience there memorable, and it is the little things she does for us that help do that. There are good and bad things to summer, but we know that this is temporary and that after college we will hopefully have more time to see each other.

Not as Motivated At School

(Photo by Matt Ragland on Unsplash)

During the school year, it is not as bad, but simply because we are busy. However, it does get a little tough when we are overwhelmed and stressed, in high school we would see each other everyday and have most of the same classes; therefore we were able to calm and reassure each other. My friends are one of my strongest motivators, we encourage each other over messages and such, but there is nothing like them motivating you while you are freaking out over a test or stressful event right there in the moment. Another hard thing is when midterms and finals come around, most people get to go to coffee shops with their friends and study, luckily I have made some amazing friends at school and we study together. Yet, I do miss being able to study with my best friends, it was something that I did not appreciate much in high school; but we check up on each other as much as we can. 


A perk from our long-distance friendship is that we have gotten the opportunity to make many new great friends, the circle I have managed to find at school make this journey much better. I have been introduced to many great things because of my school friends. If you are going through a long-distance friendship, I encourage you to get to know as many people as possible at school; it has been fun meeting new people and struggling through college with them. I have found some friends at school that I hope to maintain a good friendship with even after we all leave. 


College is definitely an experience that can be challenging for all sorts of relationships, in my case it is my friendships. We find comfort in knowing that the reason we cannot spend as much time together is because we are all working hard for our futures. These last years have helped me appreciate my friends much more, it is important to encourage and empower our friends even from a distance because chances are they are going through similar things as you.